New high blood pressure guidelines


Millions of Americans are being told to look at their numbers after the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology and nine other health professional organizations gave a major overhaul to blood pressure guidelines.

Under the guidelines, formulated by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, the number of men under age 45 with a diagnosis of high blood pressure will triple, and the prevalence among women under age 45 will double.

Cardiologist Dr. Tara Narula joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss the impact of the new guidelines. "And for those patients that are at highest risk, those that have had a cardiovascular event in the past, stroke or heart attack, or have diabetes, those are the kind of people we're going to be adding medication for it to bring their blood pressures down", Farrell said.

The blood pressure categories have changed under the new guidelines.

Millions more Americans will be classified as having high blood pressure, but this doesn't necessarily mean more people will be put on medication.

Thirty-two percent of American adults have high blood pressure under the previous guidelines and that will increase to 46 percent under the new guidelines, the heart association said.

A large, government-sponsored study of hypertension patients aged 50 and older showed in 2015 that death from heart-related causes fell 43 percent and heart failure rates dropped 38 percent when their systolic blood pressure was lowered below 120 versus those taken to a target of under 140.

Now 46 percent of US adults will have high blood pressure. Anything above is now considered "elevated" or "Stage 1" or "Stage 2".

More guidance for how people should manage their blood pressure, focusing on lifestyle improvements.

The AHA says the new guidelines are created to help people address the potentially deadly condition much earlier.

The guidelines recommend lifestyle changes, eating a healthy, low-sodium diet, rich in potassium - bananas, potatoes, avocados, leafy green vegetables - weight loss, exercise, and cutting out alcohol and tobacco.

Gandhi described the new guidelines as "sound" and "a long time coming".

Experts said the majority of Americans affected won't need medication but will need to make lifestyle changes.